I'm not a risk, says fit again prop Sio

Scott Sio (AP)
Scott Sio (AP)

Teddington - Australia prop Scott Sio says he is fully fit to face arch-rivals New Zealand in Saturday's Rugby World Cup final after recovering from a dislocated elbow.

The 24-year-old sustained the injury in the controversial 35-34 quarter-final win over Scotland and that ruled him out of the semi-final victory over Argentina.

"There's no risk. You've got to go into this knowing you are 100 percent ready for this occasion," said Sio at the team's base in the leafy London suburb of Teddington.

"It's the biggest game rugby has to offer. You want to be part of it but it's a team sport and you have to make sure you're not putting the team at risk.

"I didn't feel that and I told them, 'I'm good to go'.

"I feel good, I'm 100 percent confident in my elbow. Yesterday was going to be the marker and I got through training really well, through all the scrums, mauls and the lineouts."

"Part of this process is being honest with yourself and honest with the team. I was honest. I said it felt really good and if they wanted to pick me for this week, I'd be ready for the challenge."

Australia coach Michael Cheika said that he was not rushing Sio back because his replacement James Slipper was given a torrid time by his Argentinian opposite number last Sunday.

"Scott Sio has played really well. I'm not taking a risk you can't hide where he plays," said Cheika.

Sio said he couldn't wait to get out and play in what he considers the Olympics of rugby.

"It was a hard pill to swallow because it was a semi-final," he said about missing the 29-15 win over Argentina.

"But to be given that chance again, in a World Cup final, I'll definitely relish it now. I call the World Cup the Olympics of rugby. To be there at the pinnacle, at the end, is amazing.

"I was there or thereabouts (to play in last week's game) but I knew I wouldn't be able to give my all and I wouldn't want to put the team in that position.

"I made the call early in the week that I wasn't going to be good to go."

Sio, a Brumbies team-mate of hooker and captain Stephen Moore, said Cheika had not been upping the hype or the ante during the week preferring to keep the atmosphere calm.

"'Cheik's' been good keeping it all low-key, the calm before the storm. We have been in this environment for so long, it's second nature to us," said Sio.

Sio said his last experience of a World Cup final was not a happy one as it was the 2003 game in Sydney when England's Jonny Wilkinson's drop goal in the dying seconds of extra-time dashed Aussie hopes on home soil.

"I was there. I was at the game," said Sio.

"It was a special moment for myself. Obviously, it was very disappointing for myself as a Wallabies fan but it was a great occasion to be there. Being part of the crowd and atmosphere back then, it is amazing to be part of it now as a player."

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